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Medical: Staying ahead of threats

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jasmine Galloway
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss.-- Through prevention and response, public health has been able to keep military members and their families safe during the pandemic.

“When it comes to the COVID-19 delta variant, our approach is unchanged,” said Maj. Tristan Spierling, 81st Medical Group chief of aerospace medicine and public health emergency officer. “We rely very heavily on the Center for Disease Control for mitigation protocols we know work; masking, hand hygiene and physical distancing are things that have shown time and time again to reduce transmission.”

One of the biggest components in public health is conducting contact tracing, said Capt. Michelle Rosales, 81st Operational Medical Readiness Squadron public health flight commander and deputy public health emergency officer.

“We are able to identify those areas that are considered hotspots or outbreak areas and then focus our resources, communicating and working with leadership to ensure that we’re utilizing all prevention measures,” said Rosales.

Health Protection Condition measures also play a part in assessing the way the installation conducts operations, such as when to reduce capacity within the work and fitness centers and adjusting any other processes previously put into place.

 “We have to be willing to be nimble in our response,” said Spierling. “By discussing some of the challenges that we have in regards to our fight against COVID, what needs to be adjusted to better the fight, and having that team approach is necessary in order to be responsive.”